A Personal Photography Project: “RI@Work”

I’m embarking on a personal photography project that I’d like to tell you a little bit about… but first, a little back story.

George Weir is a fantastic photographer that I had the pleasure of seeing speak a few years ago at a conference. I continue to follow his work and am inspired by his photography. He had this to say about fellow wedding photographer with regards to shooting for himself:

“I recall very clearly a conversation I had with an established wedding photographer in 1997. He stated that he never, ever, picked up a camera unless he was photographing a wedding. He had no desire to. He was technically very proficient. His work was solid, albeit somewhat boring and, you guessed it – predictable. He left photography behind a few years ago.”

It’s one of the reasons why I started and eventually completed a picture-a-day blog in 2010, to keep my head in the game during the off season and down time. All the images were posted because I wanted to post them, not because the client dictated it. It was all about being creative every day, and not just when there was a job to shoot. Weir then shared the following perspective on embarking on a personal photography project:

“Personal projects are difficult and easy at the same time.
It is often difficult to know what to do.
They are easy because there are no expectations, of others, to satisfy.
They are easy because we get to choose what exactly to do, we can decide how much time and energy to devote to it, as well as deciding when.
They are hard because they can reveal our weaknesses.
That being said, they can be incredibly satisfying and even rewarding.”

I’ve been tossing an idea around in my head for a over a year now about starting a personal project of my own. I’d love your help in getting it off the ground. The idea is simple, it’s called: Rhode Island at Work. There is so much chatter right now about how so many folks are without work, I thought it’d be interesting to profile the people in Rhode Island that are working. And even better if they’re doing something unique, interesting and rewarding!  I’ll be focusing my energy more towards the self employed or small business folks versus big business, because I feel like the small businesses are the ones that I really want to see thrive. I’m hoping that maybe I can have a small hand in that by providing them some kick-butt images and a little free publicity by posting the images online and sharing them with the people that follow my work. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to profile someone who fits that criteria in a larger local business. Are you someone that does any of those things for work on a day to day basis? I’d love to hear from you!

I’ve already begun to photograph some people for the project, and it’s been fun creating some really amazing images for people. I’m really excited to start reaching out to some more folks over the coming weeks and months. Each Friday for the next few weeks I will be rolling out a new profile of someone who’s making it work here in RI. Stay tuned, and please let me know if you or someone you know should be featured in this project!

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